Griselda Delacruz brings her passion and knowledge of Mexican culture through the form of dance to local residents with her Mexican Folklorico Dance classes starting Sept. 3 at the Rick Novack Community Center.
"Ever since I touched base with it I fell in love with it," Delacruz said of her passion for Folklorico, which started when she was seven after her mother tried to interest her in activities like ballet, karate and softball.
An instructor for 10 years, Delacruz, 28, said she became dedicated to the dance professionally at 13 years old and continued from middle school through college.
A second generation Mexican, Delacruz said it's important to keep Folklorico's original form as time progresses each generation loses sight of their origins, with Folklorico losing its roots as other dances like ballet are incorporated in.
"Have to keep that tradition alive of what Folklorico is, was and means to the Mexican community," Delacruz said.
And what is Folklorico?
"It's an assortment of visually dramatic and engaging dances that often tell a story about what it was like to live in certain regions of Mexico," said Brandon McAnulty, recreation supervisor with the Hesperia Recreation and Park District.
"Traditional dances from Mexican culture, we'll start with different states of Mexico each one with it's own representative dance," said Delacruz. With hundreds of dances to choose from, September's class will start in Northern Mexico with polkas from the "Tamaulipas" region.
One dance of the "Tamaulipas" is to the song "El Cerro de la Silla" which men danced to as a way to court women in the '30s, according to Delacruz.
This particular dance will have boys wearing a costume much like a bullfighter would wear; complete with a red scarf while girls will wear a dress that has a floral print, high boots and a flower. The expression of the dance is completed by colorful costumes with reds, blues and oranges incorporated into them, Delacruz said.
"I enjoy teaching a lot and I want to bring what I know to the kids in the community," she said. Participants will not only learn how to dance but will also grow in "discipline, self-motivation and self-confidence."